New 'Source' Wireless Charger From Spansive Charges Four iPhones at Once Thanks to Unique Design

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 23, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Spansive, a company developing new wireless charging technology, today announced the launch of the Spansive Source, a multi-phone wireless charging accessory that's designed for families.

    The Spansive Source is able to charge up to four Qi-enabled devices at one time, using what the company calls "Drop-N-Charge" technology that doesn't require exact placement on the charging surface.

    Spansive says the Source uses "software-designed induction to shape magnetic fields" to create a device that allows four smartphones (or other Qi-based devices) to charge at once using a three-dimensional charging field that can "sense where devices are located."


    The charging technology also allows smartphones to charge "regardless of phone case," supporting PopSockets and other thicker cases. According to Spansive, the Source should work with almost all iPhone cases and popular accessories.

    Along with space for wirelessly charging four smartphones using Qi-based wireless charging, there are an additional two USB-A ports on the Source for charging other accessories.


    Unfortunately, the Source charges iPhones at a maximum of 5W, so the faster 7.5W charging specification is not supported. It does, however, connect to a home's WiFi setup, which allows it to receive over-the-air firmware updates.

    Spansive says that software updates will bring improvements like faster charging speeds, better charging range, and compatibility with future devices.


    You can get the Spansive Source in either white or charcoal colors, and it is priced at $189. It is available for purchase today from the Spansive website.

    Article Link: New 'Source' Wireless Charger From Spansive Charges Four iPhones at Once Thanks to Unique Design
  2. LarryNyquil macrumors member


    Sep 7, 2017
    Oh goody, another wifi-enabled gadget with security that I'm sure resembles swiss cheese.

    Why does a wireless charger need firmware updates???
  3. LordCoe13 macrumors regular


    Sep 9, 2014
    Chicago, IL
  4. xizdun macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2011
    I can definitely picture this in my living room in the future. Looks great. Good job, Spansive team.
  5. rustledjimmies, May 23, 2019
    Last edited: May 23, 2019

    rustledjimmies macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2019
    Was a cost analysis run comparing duct taping 8 charging pads off of Amazon and connecting them to a surge protector?
  6. Jetfire macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2008
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
    You did read the article? "uses "software-designed induction to shape magnetic fields"" Software means updates.
  7. macduke macrumors G4


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    I know. Spansive sent me an unsolicited email about this earlier today. Definitely didn't sign up for that! Never heard of this company.

    I've never understood families that charge all of their devices together like this. Seems like it would be annoying.
  8. erinsarah, May 23, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2019

    erinsarah macrumors 6502

    Mar 17, 2011
    I'm genuinely what way? we have a USB hub in the corner of our home office, and everyone tends to plug in there. Granted the teenagers will usually bring theirs to the bedroom at night and plug in, and if the teens are not home the wife brings hers to the bedroom in case they text us at 4am with some sort of issue, but for the most part we leave our devices all plugged into the same place. I would see this doohickey as quite useful, although not something I'd shell out that sort of cash for...
  9. thasan macrumors 65816

    Oct 19, 2007
  10. TheIntruder macrumors 6502a


    Jul 2, 2008
    Interesting. Do you think distance charging has a real future? What's your take on the unsuccessful AirPower experiment?
  11. mikethemartian macrumors 6502

    Jan 5, 2017
    Melbourne, FL
    Does it have the ability to communicate with the phone to get feedback how well it is charging? If so it could use that information to adapt the shape of the field to better target the device.
  12. rustledjimmies, May 23, 2019
    Last edited: May 23, 2019

    rustledjimmies macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2019
    Distance charging isn't possible with the Qi standard in its current form, that's a guarantee. The more appropriate standard for distance charging, A4WP/Rezence, hasn't taken off commercially and who knows what will happen down the road. Dell released a laptop charging mat that used it and WiTricity, among other firms and research institutions, are working around it, but distance charging at reasonable power levels for consumer electronics is very difficult to do.

    I can't speak on behalf of Apple, but my guess is that they tried cramming too much into too little space, resulting in heating issues. Also, I'm sure everything would've been integrated into the Apple ecosystem in terms of charging status and power, which adds a whole new layer of complexity on top of things.
  13. Renho macrumors 68000


    Sep 15, 2014
    SR, CA
    Charging over the air will be a real thing! Be in ur hand in bed charging! Might burn ur hand off in the process, but hey that’s new tech!
    But really it will be a thing.
  14. reden macrumors 6502a

    Aug 30, 2006
    Looked around to see if it will charge the new AirPods (wirelessly). I have a Samsung wireless charger that's at a similar angle, and always have to put a small object high enough to sit, and semi-center the AirPods for them to charge wirelessly, so annoying.
  15. mannyvel macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2019
    Hillsboro, OR
    And what about noise? Distance charging must spew tons of noise out.
  16. friedmud macrumors 65816

    Jul 11, 2008
    Interesting - do you have a family yourself (honest question).

    In my house - even though my fiance and I both have charging capability on our bedside tables (which is used at night) - our phones often end up connected to the "common" charging area we have setup on the kitchen island during the day.

    This is not even to mention our guests - people love to see the "community" charging area there and plug their stuff in.

    I could definitely see this being added to that area on the kitchen island... but not until my fiance gets a newer iPhone with Qi capability (her work-provided iPhone is still a 6S!).
  17. Christopher Hitchens macrumors newbie

    May 24, 2019
    This is a clever design. Thank you science for all you have provided the world.
  18. Aston441 macrumors 65816

    Sep 16, 2014
    Why doesn't Apple just buy them and call it AirPower?

  19. macduke macrumors G4


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    Yes, a wife and two kids. My daughter is 5 and the oldest and she has a hand-me-down iPad Mini 2 but we only let her use it for 30-45 minutes on weeknights and 60 minutes on the weekend if she is good and puts away her toys. My wife has an iPad Pro 10.5", iPhone SE, and Apple Watch 4 and I have an iPad Pro 3rd gen 12.9", iPhone XS and Apple Watch 4. We each have chargers on each night stand next to our side of the bed. We only need to charge once per day. We replaced my wife's iPhone SE battery for $29 at the end of 2018, so she doesn't need to charge during the day any more. My XS usually has 40-50% left on average, and 20% worst case. Like it is truly rare to get the 20% left popup. I don't think I've ever ran out of battery with it legitimately—and what I mean by that is by using it a lot. Every few months it seems like some process gets stuck on my iPhone (this has happened for years across different models) and the battery drains much faster on that day. After rebooting it's back to normal. I think what helps with the wireless charging iPhones is that I bought a QI charge mount for my car. So when I'm listening to my podcasts on my way to work and home (10-15 minutes each way), my battery gets a little boost. It's not a lot, but I love it, especially when traveling and using GPS and BT at the same time. It's able to trickle charge while running both.
  20. Maetzle macrumors regular


    Jun 2, 2014
    I get how it might be useful for families - but I don't really like the design of it. Together with that price point it's not something that I'd buy.
  21. phoneme macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2015
    nah only apple fanboys would want to pay 500 for an item that cost 189 just for the logo. thanks but no thanks. im smarter than that.

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